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"We will continue to go in the breaks, and we hope that Julian [Arredondo] can recover a little bit for the last week where there are two uphill finishes, one that could be really good for a breakaway."

Photo: Sirotti

FABIO FELLINE

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JULIAN DAVID ARREDONDO

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KRISTOF VANDEWALLE

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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06.09.2014 @ 21:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Trek are desperately searching for a stage win in the Vuelta a Espana but with lots of mountain stages coming up, their biggest hope is Julian Arredondo who is not in his best form. The team hopes that the Colombian climber will be able to recover for the final week.

 

Stage 14 was the start to three decisive mountain stages in this year’s Vuelta a España, and today’s race climaxed on a heartless climb with a gradient reaching over 20 percent. The grades were so steep at the top of the eight-kilometer summit finish that Trek Factory Racing resorted to a small gear combination of a 38-tooth chain ring up front with a 28-tooth cog in the back; gears, some would say, meant only for a granny.

 

Trek Factory Racing’s goal was to be in the day’s key escape, and the team hit the ground running with every rider motivated to be in any move that went up the road. However, many other teams had the same approach, and it was well over an hour of racing before a successful breakaway formed.

 

“The whole team was active to try and get into a breakaway today," Kristof Vandewalle said. "It took 45-50 kilometers I think before a break established. Julian [Arredondo] tried two or three times, I tried many times - everyone did except Haimar [Zubeldia]. Fabio [Felline] tried and it was the lucky one.”

 

When the breakaway finally established Fabio Felline was there, and would ride strong to the first mountain climb where everything exploded: the breakaway was pared to 14, then to the seven strongest climbers on the final steep ascent.

 

“Again today we fought to be in the break, we had Bob [Jungels] in the first one and then finally Felline in the good one," sports director Josu Larrazabal said. " Maybe we missed to have one more there because there were 23 riders and we had just one, but anyway this is not always possible to control this.  The break split into groups on the climbs and Fabio was lost there.

 

"Of course we had Haimar [Zubeldia] and Bob [Jungels] in the first group of the peloton, but when the break is arriving to the line and we are targeting stage wins, it was better for them to take it easy for the coming stages.”

 

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) won from the breakaway in a thrilling finish while the GC battle played an equally exhilarating battle behind. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) padded his lead over second placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who faded in the last painful kilometers, and Chris Froome (Team Sky) leapt into third overall with a show he is riding into top form.

 

Deep into the heart of the Vuelta Trek Factory Racing continues to focus on stages, taking each day and every opportunity as it comes. The young team will hope to rebound from crashes, ill luck and overcome extreme fatigue in the final week and finally bring home the desired result.

 

“We still continue with the same goal for stages," Larrazabal said. "Felline is generally good in uphill sprints, but the crashes have really set him back up to now. We will continue to go in the breaks, and we hope that Julian [Arredondo] can recover a little bit for the last week where there are two uphill finishes, one that could be really good for a breakaway. We have proved we are good in the time trials, so we are hoping to do well in the final time trial, too.”

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